I have long stated that I’m an ex-Jew: I gave it up for Lent.  I am not shrinking from that position at all – just building on it.  I know that every religion has its odd beliefs and behaviors: I thought I’d share some…

Here we are, mid-April; some will refer to it as spring, some Passover, some Easter (and some Drink Up).  I remember Passovers past, before I became an ex-Jew.  For some unknown reason, the holiday always seemed to come out on my birthday, thus denying me a cake.  Anyone who has ever tasted any Passover food can tell you that there is NO kosher substitute for a birthday cake.  The Hebrew calendar is numbered differently than everyone else’s calendar so holidays don’t always show up the same day, yet somehow they managed to keep coming out on my birthday.

The Jews don’t eat leavened bread during Passover.  Instead they eat matzoh.  Matzoh is a special form of torture, according to the Geneva Convention, that is indistinguishable from its container in terms of taste (kinda like Pizza Hut pizza).

Some people actually look forward to matzoh, preparing a dish called fried matzoh.  This is not only against the Geneva Convention, there are several entire continents on which this is forbidden.  Although the American Medical Association has not officially condemned this delicacy, I understand that a resolution is pending.

I will never in a million years understand this, but my wife (the ex-Catholic), is a much better Jew than I could ever have been.  My family loves her and she attends most of the events (solo – I’m sure as hell not going).  She must have a thing for noses (I’ve seen pictures of her old boyfriends).

Tonight is the first night of Passover, as evidenced by my family getting together.  My wife will of course be there, but I told her that I’m not coming if I can’t bring pizza.  So it’s pretty much been decided that I’ll just stay home and amuse myself.  Yes, another night relegated to self-amuse.

Today’s amusement started early at work.  I work with a stellar fellow who also happens to be a pastor.  We learn a lot from each other, although I suspect he’d rather un-learn most of it.  His denomination is Christian but via the Old Testament, so his holidays look Jewish.  Before he left for Passover, he asked if we did foot-washing.  Now I bathe as frequently as the next guy, but I had a feeling that wasn’t what he was asking me.  The blank look on my face must’ve given it away, as he explained to me that his group does this as a gesture of humility.  I understand that Catholics do this too.

So no foot-washing.  But we work with a lot of people who have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, so there is an awful lot of hand-washing, if that counts.

Meanwhile, a few of the more sensitive members of the staff started cutting out beanies (yamulkuh, head covering) and taping them to their heads.  I have no idea if this was their idea of a gesture of humility or not: I was just glad that it wasn’t me doing all the offending in the department for once.

I feigned indignation when I discovered all of the local sports teams were playing tonight (on Passover!).  The discussion was settled when I was assured that all of the Jews in the NFL and NBA were taking the holiday off (both of them).

And then it occurred to me, like a blinding flash of lightning, with rain soaking me to the skin on gig night…. church and synagogue attendance would go through the roof if they instituted, as a gesture of humility, boob-washing.  It could be completely cross-denominational.  They could even tie it in to breast exams and cancer awareness.  This is a no-lose proposition.

The pastor allowed as to how there might be a few hitches in getting this implemented.  He was going to stick with foot-washing but he thanked me profusely, probably so he could get past me and through the exit.

BOOB-WASHING, you say….

So there I was, an idea in search of an application.  I did what I always do when I need unconditional approval (or grief): I called my wife.   As it turned out, she was most impressed and agreeable to the idea.  I made sure to specify that this was not a part of any existing religion’s practices – it was purely a great idea that needed to be spread.

Since I have no religion or other tax shelter, I decided to start my own.  Welcome, my friends, to the Church of Hendrix.  As I am told, we’re one step to the left of the Unitarian Atheists’ Committee.

Our first tenet is worship of boobs.  No, not George Bush, Simon Cowell, or Barack Obama; real boobies, hence the ritual boob-washing.  Aside from a serious appreciation of Jimi Hendrix (and left-handed guitarists in general), we don’t have much else at the moment.  Okay, there is chocolate too, but that’s it.

Now isn’t that the kind of religion that you need to observe?   No stained glass, no pedophiles, no beanies, no grief, and most of all, no guilt.

The line forms to the left (of course).


Happy Whatever, Everybody!